For Release:
January 15, 2010

Contact: Kathy Love — 573.522.1463

Columbia — The United States is one of the few nations in the world where older adults are better educated than younger adults. How have Missouri and the nation slipped behind nine other countries that have more young adults with a college degree?

This and other questions will be explored at a one-day conference Tuesday, March 2, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The conference is co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and MU's Division of Enrollment Management with federal funds provided through the College Access Challenge Grant program.

The conference, titled "Focus on Missouri: A Dialogue on Barriers, Strategies and the Future of College Access," invites secondary and post-secondary educators and administrators, policymakers, researchers and others to explore ways to improve college access in Missouri.

According to the Lumina Foundation, an additional 64 million college degrees nationwide are needed to match other leading nations in degree attainment. As the nation grows more racially and ethnically diverse, disparities in educational attainment persist.

In Missouri, 38 percent of white and 30 percent of non-white young adults have college degrees. The Focus on Missouri event will explore ways to create a sustainable college-going culture, finance higher education and create policies that foster access to college.

Registration for the event is free. For more information, go to